Why I Decided To Retire and Travel

me at 46At 46 years old after two years of thinking, dreaming, and researching I made the decision in July 2009, to follow my dream of world travel.  I’ve wanted to travel for as long as I can remember – at least as far back as Junior High School. I used to dream about all the places I would go as soon as I was old enough to get away.

But then…life happened

In the first 25 years of my adult life I raised two kids. A daughter and a son. They are 3 ½ years apart in age. Neither was planned, but both dearly loved.

When the kids were 18 months & 4 we moved from Southern California to Knoxville, Tennessee. On Saint Patrick’s Day 2010 we celebrated being in Tennessee 20 years. Throughout the kids’ lives, the three of us have traveled a lot. We’ve been all over the USA literally by plane, train & automobile. (Amtrak is an amazing way to travel the country). We have camped up and down the east coast, cruised the Caribbean and played in Mexico.

Traveling has always been my passion and I loved sharing it with my kids.

I earned a B.A. in Speech Communication from the University of Tennessee. In 1994 I took several classes at the Universita de Urbino in Urbino, Italy. I decided to go several weeks early to Italy by way of London so I could travel some of Western Europe. This was my first trip overseas.

I married my best friend in 2000 and had planned to spend the rest of my life with him. I loved him deeply and have had a difficult time dealing with the end of our relationship. I was truly broken for a while. Although I will always love him, we went in very different directions with our lives. He will forever share some of my heart, but my spirit has invariably called me to travel.

In the years since my divorce I have become a stronger, happier, and a more peaceful woman. Both of my children are now adults, I have a gorgeous granddaughter.  I’ve learned to create beautiful yoga mat carriers out of re-purposed clothes, to trust my feelings and how to let go.

At 39 I became a grandmother to Marley. She calls me Lovey. Which inspired the name of my personal blog = Barefootlovey.com. She is my heart and my soul. I can not express in words how deeply in love with her I am. The laughter she has brought to me in my life is unparalleled with anything I have known. I want her to be proud of me always. She has been the motivation for me to follow my heart.

A map of the places I’ve traveled – so far…

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